Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc denied they had been conserving their pace despite finishing over a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Vettel also rejected the suggested Hamilton and Max Verstappen had finished so far ahead because they were pushing each other harder in their fight for victory.
“I think they were pushing flat-out and we were pushing flat-out,” he said. “So I don’t think they were able to get another second just because they enjoyed themselves, I don’t think so.”
Ferraro team principal Mattia Binotto said the gap was a result of the SF90’s weakness on tracks which require high downforce.
“I think what we should try to explain is not really the minute today [but] how is it possible that just a week ago we had the fastest car and today we are somehow not the fastest,” he said.
“Here I think as we often say it’s very track-dependent. We know that our car is lacking maximum downforce and when you are on a circuit like Budapest where maximum downforce is required then we are certainly suffering.”
Ferrari qualified within half a second of Verstappen’s pole position time but lost almost nine-tenths of a second per laps on average during the race.
“You suffer even more in the race compared to quali because on the single lap of quali the grip of the tyres is coping with the lack of downforce you may have,” explained Binotto. “But on the long distance then you are sliding, overheating the tyres and things are certainly more complicated.”
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